1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Dr. Joseph Juran (2013) defined product quality as a means to incorporate features that have a capacity to meet consumers need (wants) and gives customers satisfactions by improving product (goods) and making them free from any deficiencies or defeats. The quality of a product could be sub-divided into real quality and perceived quality (Bronson et al, 2005).
Nevertheless in this research work, we will place more emphasis on perceived quality as such is in the line with the marketing concept, moreover, the rhetoric of the matter is this; of what use is quality if it does not have any influence on the consumer?
Shawn Grimsley (2015) defined brand loyalty as where a customer choose to repeatedly purchase a product by the same company instead of a substitute product produced by a competitor.
Jone et al (2002), however, enthused that brand loyalty is more than sample repurchasing; customers may repurchase a brand due to situation, oral constraints (such as vendor locking) a lock of viable alternations or out or convenience such loyalty is referred to as “superior loyalty”.
True brand loyalty exists when customers have a high relative attitude towards the brand which is then exhibited through repurchase behavior. (Richfield, 1990).
According to Kotler and Keller (2006), this type of loyalty (brand loyalty) can be the extent of consumers faithfulness towards a specific brand and this faithfulness is expressed through repeat purchase and other positive behaviors such as word of mouth advocacy, irrespective of the marketing pressures generated by the other competing brands.
It is important for it to be pointed out here that, notwithstanding, the redoubtable virtues in true brand loyalty, this researcher does not intend to entangle himself in the fractions trajectory of attempting to distinguish and analogize true and spurious loyalty in this work. Brand loyalty will be examined textually as it is its definitions by Shawn Grimsley (2015), the repeated purchase by the same company. The topic of this research, of course the influence of product quality on brand loyalty in Nigeria (A case study of Peak Milk Ekwulobia).
Many factors have some influence on brand loyalty they include price, peer and societal pressure, product availability and et cetera.
Nevertheless we will restrict ourself to the influence of product quality on such loyalty (brand loyalty) and with particular reference to Ekwulobia residence in Anambra State of Nigeria.
Aguata is a local government area, east central Nigeria. It is a region with marketing fertile land for agriculture with prominent product like rice, yam, cassava, and palm oil. Most of the populations are subsistence farmers and traders.
There is also a large student community as a result of the presence of a Federal Polytechnic located at Oko.
1.1.1BRIEF HISTORY OF PEAK MILK COMPANY
Friesland Company Wamaco Nigeria Plc is a multinational manufacturing company. It is affiliated of Royal Friesland Company of the Netherlands, one of the largest dairy cooperative in the world, which has its headquarters in Ikeja Industrial Area of Lagos State and operates an extensive distribution network across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the current managing director of Friesland Company Wamaco Plc. (Ben Langat 2015). The company has continued to play a leading role in theproduction, processing, packaging and distribution of various milk products in Nigeria. With an annual turnover of #121 billion in 2015 and a market share driven by her key brands, Peak, Three Crowns and Frisco. It pioneered the manufacturer of evaporated milk and the introduction of fortified milk based product in Nigeria. Friesland Company Wamco Nigeria Plc will maintain its No 1 position as the Rations leading milk manufacturing company by investing in its people, capacity expansion projects and by being an excellent corporate citizen.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The following statements are expected to reveal the problems to be solved by this research work: The consumers in Ekwulobia residents apparently, have difficulty appreciating the presence of quality differences of most of the product offered to them to purchase.
There is a high level of ignorance about the extent of their belief about how such differences in quality have some influence on the satisfaction they derived from the product in question.
The vagueness in knowledge of the correlation between theirpurchase patterns and their perceptions of the differences in product quality. The apparent inability to link customer quality perceptions with their levels of brand loyalty. The undue emphasis on other factors that influence in brand loyalty, whilst neglecting the effect of product loyalty.
Ignorance about the most permanent influence on brand loyalty in Ekwulobia residents.
1.3PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose is to investigate the influence of product quality on brand loyalty. The specific purposes are:
- To ascertained if product quality has influence on brand loyalty.
- To ascertain if product quality has relationship on brand loyalty
- To identify other factors that affect brand loyalty.
- To ascertained the ranking of quality by consumers among factors considered in deciding to purchase a particular peak milk.
5 To determine the influence of customer services consideration by consumer of Friesland Company Wamaco Product (peak milk)
1.4SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This project is significant for a number of reasons:
- It would provide the marketing research practitioner a clearer perspective of the factors to the factor Zero in while mapping out the strategy for marketing leadership.
- We also expected that this study would elevate awareness onproduct quality for peak milk among consumers.
- The project is also significant from the stand point that it would provide a ready reference source to marketing research practitioners and future researchers on similar or related products.
- Does product quality influence brand loyalty?
- Does product quality have relationship on brand loyalty
- Do the ranking of product quality act as a factor to be considered by consumers in purchasing peak milk?
- Does the customer service consideration influence the consumers of peak milk?
- Which other factor influence brand loyalty apart from product quality?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The researcher formulated the following hypothesis to guide the research
Ho: There is a relationship between product quality and brand loyalty
Hi: There is no relationship between product quality and brand loyalty.
Ho: There is significant influence of product quality on brand loyalty.
Hi: There is no significant influence of product quality on brand loyalty.
Ho: The ranking of product quality is a factor considered by customers when purchasing peak
Hi: The ranking of product quality is not a factor considered by customers when purchasing peak
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to consumers of Peak Milk Ekwulobia Anambra State.
1.8 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
These terms were found appropriate for definitions in this work:
Product: A product is anything that can be offered to themarket which satisfies a want or need (Kottler et al (2006)
Brand loyalty: Is the marketing efforts or outcomes that accrued a product with its brand name compare to those that would accrue of the same product that did not have the brand name.Kottler (2003)
Marketing concept: It is a business philosophy based on the focus of business efforts or its management orientation that holds that key task of the organization is to determine the need and wants of target market and to adopt the organization to delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than its competitors.
Marketing mix: The marketing mix refers to the use of several variables (place, product, price and promotion) in other to achieve marketing objectives. Those variables are also known as the 4ps.(a prominent marketing, E. Jerome, C.Mccarthy 1960)
Quality: Is a measure of excellence or a state of being free defects, deficiencies any significant variations. It is brought about by strict and consistent commitment to certain standards that achieve uniformity of a product in order to satisfy stated implied needs.
Brand: A name, term, design, symbol or any other features that identifies one seller’s goods and services as distinct from those of other sellers.
Concept:An idea aimed at satisfiesconsumer’s wants and needs.
Loyalty: Is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group or cause or the state of being loyal, faithfulness to commitment or obligations.
Product concept: It purpose that consumers will prefer product that have better quality, performance and features as opposed to a normal profit.
Tangible product: Is any physical product that can be touched like a computer, automobile etc.
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